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Second place and silver medals

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D'kian
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Very great. Try your hand at any sport, at any level, and you'll see how much effort and dedication it takes to play it well. Being second in the world is a very big deal.

I have played sports pretty much my whole life. And I'll tell you right now, coming in second is never satisfying to me. But yes, I guess it's better than being third, or fourth, so on and so forth.

When talking about great failures in football, the 90s Bills are usually brought up as an example of failed teams. I think that's unfair.

Well I mean, they DID fail to get a championship. Better than all those squads that simply nobody remembers though.

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There are times when, as Vince Lombardi said, winning is the only thing that matters. Say when you submit a propposal to a customer, and he chooses yours over a competitor's. If you come in second you get nothing. But in sports the guy coming in second does get something, and it should count.

I think this whole line of thinking is a form of intrinsicism. Where is it written that spoils are only fairly distributed if they are in proporion to effort? What is about sports that should make it any different? Every time in this thread you've gotten near to answering that question you stop short, simply asserting that something is "not fair".

As you yourself have said, some games are "winner take all." Evolution is an even better example. As long as one knows that going in, then one factors it into his decision to compete. Don't want to play a winner take all sort of senario, well then maybe sports shouldn't be your thing.

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The simple, undeniable fact is that there is a conflict of interest with regards to the passports in question. They are documents issued by the very party (i.e. the Chinese Government) that is under suspicion of dishonesty! You can throw every other red herring out the window because that fact is indisputable.

Edited by KevinDW78
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If this were a simple transposition or other clerical error (as claimed by the Chinese), why delete the documents and try to remove the evidence from the internet? Why engage in a coverup when you've done nothing wrong? Also, you seem to forget that the Times article mentioned evidence that two gymnasts (He and Jiang) are underage and both of them had passports that indicate they are 16. So now we’re supposed to believe that there were there two clerical errors. Are you seriously suggesting that it would be a problem for the Chinese government to give these girls passports with altered birthdates?

The clerical error was in regards to He. I don't know what the official statement is on Jiang. The banned internet IPs is obviously to save face. No I am not saying that the Chinese government could not have possibly given those girls altered passports. I am saying that there has not been any definitive proofs, and that it is irresponsible to state as a fact that China cheated.

Actually you can’t just as easily make that claim about Phelps because there isn’t any evidence that he was on steroids. There is substantial evidence that the Chinese gymnasts are underage.

This is in response to you stating that on philosophical grounds China is guilty because they have cheated in the past. What I am pointing out here is that the US has had several high profile doping incidents ourselves, but it would be unjust to automatically assume that an accused is guilty without definitive proof.

So now you want to argue with my characterization of the guy as a “hacker”. You’re starting to come off as a nitpicker without a good argument. It’s a definitional thing, don’t you know.

It's not your characterization. Several articles have mentioned this guy as a hacker. I am pointing out that all this guy did was access some search engine caches, which hardly makes him a hacker. My main point however was that a hacker is not exactly a reliable or credible source of information.

And if there were government records that indicated he was 25 years old, would you have simply dismissed them out of hand?

This is again out of context. This is in response to you claiming that their physical appearance counts as appropriate "evidence" to their being underage. My point was that it is not.

Yes, that’s the reason for the placement of the age restriction. However, when coaches and ex-gymnasts say that attributes associated with being younger give you an advantage, I believe them unless I see evidence that they should not be trusted.

Okay, as far as I can tell there has only been two person on record saying that being underage is an advantage from the major media reports. On is Nellie Kim, whom as I said won her own gold medals when she was 23 herself. The other one is the coach of the US gymnastics team (as well as the director... can't recall their names) -- who I certainly don't think qualifies as an objective commentator.

Look, it would be one thing if it was a close contest. But the US squad royally fucked up by landing on their ass several times and stepping out of bounds. All things considered, a silver isn't that bad. The implication from the US coach that the Chinese only won because they were young was an utter disgrace.

Was she competing against any 14 year olds in 1980?

Feel free to look it up. But I would say that most of the girls she beaten were probably significantly younger.

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I think this whole line of thinking is a form of intrinsicism. Where is it written that spoils are only fairly distributed if they are in proporion to effort? What is about sports that should make it any different? Every time in this thread you've gotten near to answering that question you stop short, simply asserting that something is "not fair".

It's not only in sports. many contests hand out prizes for various places, not just first place. Sometimes in business the second best offer does get something, too, depending on the customer's needs and policies.

But sports in particular are a series of events, rather than a single event or a rarely held event. The best example is a pro sports league, say the NFL. The league exists to make a sport, football in this case, accessible as entertainment to a large audience. Now, suppose the league instead of dividing its income among all teams were instead to hand all of a year's income to the Superbowl winner and give nothing to the other teams. The league would fold in one season. So it makes sense to give each team an income from whatever the league gets (and it gets the bigger share of football-related income), in order to preserve the league as a going business for many decades to come.

Now let's reconsider the Bills. I wouldn't say they are a better team than the Denver Broncos, because Denver did eventually win twice in the Superbowl. But I would say they are a better team than the Tampa Bay Bucs, because they went to the Superbowl only once even if they won that time.

in any case, my point is that regardless of how prizes, income, or money is distributed among athletes, a silver medal is a mark of an achievement and not a mark of failure.

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The clerical error was in regards to He. I don't know what the official statement is on Jiang. The banned internet IPs is obviously to save face. No I am not saying that the Chinese government could not have possibly given those girls altered passports. I am saying that there has not been any definitive proofs, and that it is irresponsible to state as a fact that China cheated.
So the Chinese are trying to save face for a clerical error by cleansing the internet, deleting cached files, etc... They sure do put a lot of effort into making it clear to the world that they have gold medal secretarial skills. In any event, there is substantial and convincing proof of cheating, so I don’t see how it’s irresponsible to make the statement.

This is in response to you stating that on philosophical grounds China is guilty because they have cheated in the past. What I am pointing out here is that the US has had several high profile doping incidents ourselves, but it would be unjust to automatically assume that an accused is guilty without definitive proof.
I’m sorry but you apparenlty misunderstood my earlier statement, where I said the following: The Chinese Communist government plays fast and loose with the truth whenever and wherever it serves their purposes. It’s a philosophical thing, don’t you know?” I was commenting on the Communist view of the truth as a general proposition.

It's not your characterization. Several articles have mentioned this guy as a hacker. I am pointing out that all this guy did was access some search engine caches, which hardly makes him a hacker. My main point however was that a hacker is not exactly a reliable or credible source of information.
Are you saying that there is reason to believe that this fellow didn’t access the information in the manner that he claims or that the copies of the documents he has posted have been altered in some way? Please provide your evidence that this guy isn’t credible.

This is again out of context. This is in response to you claiming that their physical appearance counts as appropriate "evidence" to their being underage. My point was that it is not.
My comment wasn’t out of context at all. You’re saying that physical appearance doesn’t count as evidence in this controversy and I’m saying that it does. Of course that piece of evidence by itself is not conclusive, but when combined with the documentation, the cover-up, the fact that there is evidence of more than one girl having her age changed, and the history of Chinese gymnastic age falsification, the physical appearance of the girls is a valid thing to consider.

Look, it would be one thing if it was a close contest. But the US squad royally fucked up by landing on their ass several times and stepping out of bounds. All things considered, a silver isn't that bad. The implication from the US coach that the Chinese only won because they were young was an utter disgrace.
I think the very likely prospect that the Chinese cheated is a far bigger disgrace.

Now let's reconsider the Bills. I wouldn't say they are a better team than the Denver Broncos, because Denver did eventually win twice in the Superbowl. But I would say they are a better team than the Tampa Bay Bucs, because they went to the Superbowl only once even if they won that time.

What about the Detroit Lions? Where do we rank? <_<

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So the Chinese are trying to save face for a clerical error by cleansing the internet, deleting cached files, etc... They sure do put a lot of effort into making it clear to the world that they have gold medal secretarial skills. In any event, there is substantial and convincing proof of cheating, so I don’t see how it’s irresponsible to make the statement.

They deleted it to quell the international controversy. Given the state of Chinese internet, they probably would have done it regardless of whether the documents were fake. I already stated why I think the case is inconclusive. It's obvious that you disagree. Without any further evidence I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

I’m sorry but you apparenlty misunderstood my earlier statement, where I said the following: The Chinese Communist government plays fast and loose with the truth whenever and wherever it serves their purposes. It’s a philosophical thing, don’t you know?” I was commenting on the Communist view of the truth as a general proposition.

I'm not sure where I misunderstood. Does the US athletes doping represent the American view on truth as a general proposition?

Are you saying that there is reason to believe that this fellow didn’t access the information in the manner that he claims or that the copies of the documents he has posted have been altered in some way? Please provide your evidence that this guy isn’t credible.

Let me clarify. What I actually said was based on what the guy did, he does not qualify as a hacker. And then as an additional note, hackers in general are not a very credible source because they are essentially morally bankrupt thieves. I don't dispute that this IT guy accessed a search engine cache and found some documents.

My comment wasn’t out of context at all. You’re saying that physical appearance doesn’t count as evidence in this controversy and I’m saying that it does. Of course that piece of evidence by itself is not conclusive, but when combined with the documentation, the cover-up, the fact that there is evidence of more than one girl having her age changed, and the history of Chinese gymnastic age falsification, the physical appearance of the girls is a valid thing to consider.

Let's put this physical appearance issue in context: here we are talking about telling the difference in appearance between a 14 year old (their alleged age) and a 16 year old (their official age). At least one of the Chinese gymnasts I recall was even 15 and some odd months on the official documents you keep mentioning. Are you honestly trying to say that you can reliably tell a 15 year old from a 16 year old just based on looks? Especially when these girls are already pre-selected for being small and youthful in appearance and in all likelihood have stunted growth from years of training beginning at a young age?

At least with the official documentation there is a case to be made, with the only difference being you consider it conclusive and I don't. Physical appearance on the other hand shouldn't even be in the discussion.

I think the very likely prospect that the Chinese cheated is a far bigger disgrace.

If China in fact cheated, they are guilty of breaking a rule. In this case what I consider a bad and hypocritical rule. It's supposed to protect kids from over-training at a young age, but it's pretty clear that both in China and in the US, nobody is backing off of those kids much, if at all. But alright, they should still have their medals stripped if the case is proven.

The US gymnastic team on the other hand (well, the coach and the director anyhow) kept releasing statements that implied that the US would have won if the Chinese kids weren't underage. That is straight up a load of BS, as anyone who watched the actually event will be able to tell you. The US squad fucked up so many times that it wouldn't have mattered much how the Chinese did. Any mediocre performance would have won that pairing. To me that is either an attempt to deceive or straight up evasion of reality.

At the end of the day though, if the current evidence satisfies you, then there really isn't much point to continue this discussion. If I had to bet, I'd probably bet that at least one of those girls was underage too. I just don't think that what we have amounts to a definitive case.

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They deleted it to quell the international controversy. Given the state of Chinese internet, they probably would have done it regardless of whether the documents were fake. I already stated why I think the case is inconclusive. It's obvious that you disagree. Without any further evidence I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.
In Noodle Food, Diana Hsieh linked to what I thought was a good blog post by Brian http://hoondat.livejournal.com/24720.html It won't convince you of anything, but I think it does a nice job of establishing the context of this scandal and the inadequate response of the IOC. Beyond that, I agree with you that we will just have to disagree.

I'm not sure where I misunderstood. Does the US athletes doping represent the American view on truth as a general proposition?
That wouldn't be the same thing at all. I was commenting on the Communist view of truth and you are commenting on the American view. Now I suppose if you said the Capitalist view, then we'd have something to discuss.
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In Noodle Food, Diana Hsieh linked to what I thought was a good blog post by Brian http://hoondat.livejournal.com/24720.html It won't convince you of anything, but I think it does a nice job of establishing the context of this scandal and the inadequate response of the IOC. Beyond that, I agree with you that we will just have to disagree.

The link pretty much mirrors your view. I completely agree though that the IOC is acting like China's bitch.

What I would like to see is for this matter to be thoroughly investigated, and if found guilty, the Chinese gold medals stripped. But then I'd hope that this incident would stir up some more discussion on the whole age restriction thing and have it simply scrapped all together. To me there is no doubt that the best gymnasts won during the competition.

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The link pretty much mirrors your view. I completely agree though that the IOC is acting like China's bitch.

What I would like to see is for this matter to be thoroughly investigated, and if found guilty, the Chinese gold medals stripped. But then I'd hope that this incident would stir up some more discussion on the whole age restriction thing and have it simply scrapped all together. To me there is no doubt that the best gymnasts won during the competition.

Yes, the age restriction seems silly to me. However, I don't know about the validity of some claims that younger gymnasts are more prone to injury. One would hope that the parents would have the common sense to not allow their children to be pushed beyond their limits.

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